Simple Ideas

The Last King of Kabobistan

Lifestyle & Culture | September 28, 2009

So every time I've been back East over the past 5 years and I run into my brother, eventually it's the same question.

"Do you ever eat ka-bobs? Cuz if you do, there is this place..."

Little did he know.

So this time I'm heading East to observe a course that is under development. Meaning I'm here to help the development. Meaning I need to be sharp. So I can't be eating no run of the mill 'bobbies. I need the good stuff, you know, from my homeland.

My brother picks me up at the airport, cuz you know, that's how it is when you are royalty. The kabobary is a half mile from the airport, but me being the celeb I am, I get paraded around all four corners of DC so I can wave and bless people. Eventually, I'm getting a little peckish and I need to cut the tour short. My brother effects a U-turn and insists he's pretty sure he knows where we are going. And he does. We pull into, where else, The Kabob Palace.

A few people recognize my brother, sorta, he used to be short, fat and bald. They inquire how he's feeling. He explains he has a stiff neck. They all think "Oh, neck cancer, poor guy" so he has to explain that he's replaced triglycerides with triathlons and he's not a dead man walking. Like the amatuer he is, he orders the spiceyburgerkabob. Typical mistake for a commoner. Kings are experts at everything and everything includes menu management. I go for the boneless chicken and get a nod and the Kabobese equivalant of "bon appetit" from the counterman. My brother doesn't capishe Kabobese, so he's in the dark as to just where this is going.

He tells me get the chick peas on top of the rice. Of course I'm getting the chick peas, that’s all Kings eat. While we are waiting, I notice the womenfolk checking me out. I'm afraid maybe my cover is blown and they are going to remove their brightly colored bedsheets and offer themselves to the King, as is the custom in Kabobistan. But they limit themselves to demure eyeball liberty. Perhaps they are not sure I really am who they think I am. Then the 'bobs come out. My brother starts to tuck into his chick peas naked. Silly boy! Man up. I get some jalapenos and horseradish to kick it up a few notches and now we’re eating.

As you can imagine, once I load up with the royal garnishes, well the people just know. My brother is barely done his first burgerbob when I've joined the clean plate club. Sure I had some hiccups on account of my not actually chewing the food, but that is the custom and clearly the mark of a manly man. Meanwhile, my brother is slapping burger bits into bread and still beating his gums. My people by now all recognize their long lost King and have the decency to avert their eyes as I pass in my royal blue "Penn State Alumni" headgear and head to the door.

I know this is how the common people live and it is good. This was your basic, wholesome fiber free food that would never stress the developing sewer system in the young country of Kabobistan. Eventually, we will have a world class sewer system and all people can enjoy fiber in their diets. But for now, it is what it is.

My brother, good man that he is, offers to drive me to the limo company that will grace themselves with my presence. It is roughly 200 feet from the Palace. So instead of DC, we now do a tour of rural Virginia and Maryland before returning to this wonderful Enterprise service an hour later. I now see this Enterprise is on the other side of a bar that is missing its top. I make a note to ask about this American idea of a topless bar, but after touring the villages and hamlets, I'm hard pressed for time. He drops me off and offers to wait to be sure everything is OK. Nice idea, but I can't help but think a tour a rural West Virginia would be next on the agenda so I wish him godspeed on his trip back to his yurt.

Now that he's gone I can get off to my class and learn all about developing what needs to be developed. I do that in fine fashion the next day and finally, its time to visit a kabobery that truly is fit for a king.

I have my informants, I'm not ashamed to say this out loud in writing. They insist that the Kingly Kabobery is none other than Afghan Kabob Restaurant in West Springfield. Rumor has it that is a full 18% better than Kabul Kabobs in plain old Springfield. I trust my informer at Urban Spoon and give it a go. I plow down Pohick Road in my Chevy Tahoe and can't help but hope that one day the residents become rich hicks. Good feelings like this frequently emanate from my person.

I make my way into the regal splendor of this establishment. It is cleverly hidden in a strip mall, right down from a Kim Chi dealer. The enemies of my regime would never look for me here. Safe is as safe does, I occasionally say to disinterested observers. Inside, the subterfuge continues. Instead of people who are brown like me, the servers are pale pasty women with hair the color of daisies. They have their firm young flesh packed into tight black clothing that I for one have never seen in my homeland. At first I think they are possibly from the enemy state of Kosherhotdogland, but when they speak I recognize they speak with a southern Kabobese accent. Now I know I'm among friends. I have to repeat my order two or three times as they don't really speak high Kabobese, but I am nothing if not a patient man for one of my station. I've always admired that about me.

Since my brother was not along, I did not have to eschew the salad. Granted, they had to use some American green product that didn't pack the punch of Kabobieweed, but the dressing was a perfect mix of yogurt (which, in spite of anything Albert the Gore has said, was in fact invented by me in my youth) and it was spiced up by the traditional Kabobbieherb, which looks a lot like mint but is really a state secret of my homeland. As my old mentor the Kabobie Lama used to say "That’s a damn fine dressing". And he was right. For those of us able to actually enjoy fiber, we have to thank the Grand Kabobster in the sky for giving us this dressing, which could make cardboard seem like food fit for King.

I opted for the Chicken Carrayee as my main course. For those who like to double their body weight over the course of a meal, they can substitute Chaplee Kabob to this dish for a pittance. Were I my brother, I'd go that route. I mean if he were ever granted admittance to the upper crust and allowed to join the select few who dine here.

It really was a very good meal. They matched the Kabob Palace in quality of the meat. I'd suggest that a real meat eater go for the Chaplee and add a skewer of whatever other meat you like. The only issue with this dish was it seemed to be a little light on meat relative to the veggies, so it seemed it really was designed to accomodate the big boy appetites of serious carnivores and really, if I had my humble food taster along, I'd have gone for both and doffed off the extras. But when one is King of a starving race, it’s bad politics to waste food, so I ordered light and set the good example.

Afterwards the mouthfeel was very clean. Good spices throughout the meal kept is from getting flabby at any point. Even the sauce that comes with the pita bread (known to the cognoscenti as green dippy sauce) seemed to have a tad more bite here than that offered at my, I mean the Palace.

So overall, two days of darn good Kabobery behind me. And tomorrow, well, I'm emir, I mean a mere, 200 yards from Kabul Kabobs as I finish writing this.

Any Comments?

Deuces and Nines

Published: January 20, 2011

One odd night is good. Two? Time to start typin'.

Perfect in Public (Pretty in Pink?)

Published: February 21, 2011

If everyone around you is well behaved, odds are you are eating out.